News & Politics

24 Washington-Area Nonprofits That Help Local Causes

When you give money to a charity, what is it actually used for? Here are 24 nonprofits recommended in this year’s Catalogue for Philanthropy Greater Washington—and how your donation could help someone in need.


Photograph via iStock.

Reach for College!

$125 buys: Application fees and postage for two cash-strapped DC college applicants.

Higher Achievement

$500 buys: An overnight college visit for four academically motivated but economically disadvantaged students in the District.

Future Link

$1,000 buys: An employer match that, together with the donation, finds a three-month internship for an at-risk, disadvantaged Montgomery County student.

Essential Services

Nourish Now

$100 buys: Prepared meals for 100 people in need in Montgomery County, using “rescued” food from licensed providers that would otherwise go to waste.

Arlington Thrive

$250 buys: Same-day emergency assistance for Arlington residents, such as dental work for one uninsured person.

DC Center for the LGBT Community

$1,000 buys: Funding for DC’s only LGBTQ violence-response hotline for three weeks.

Community Arts

American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras

$500 buys: Sponsorship for one pair of Music Buddies, which partners an AYPO student musician with a financially disadvantaged peer needing music lessons at Alexandria’s T.C. Williams High School.

Art Works Now

$1,000 buys: A year of art classes for a student with developmental disabilities at the group’s Mount Rainier headquarters.

The Dance Institute of Washington

$5,000 buys: A year of pre-professional dance classes for five at-risk students in the District.

Veterans & Military Families

Our Military Kids

$100 buys: A season of sports-team fees for the child of a National Guard or Reserve member deployed overseas.

Operation Second Chance

$500 buys: Emergency travel for a family member to visit a wounded soldier at military hospitals such as Walter Reed medical center.


$3,000 buys: One college, technical-school, or vocational-training scholarship for a military spouse or child.

Personal Safety

District Alliance for Safe Housing

$100 buys: New security locks for one domestic-violence survivor in DC.

Crossway Community

$1,000 buys: Furnishings for a one-bedroom apartment for a vulnerable mother and her children in Washington.

Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project

$5,000 buys: Legal representation to appeal an unsafe-custody ruling
for a local victim of domestic violence.

Women & Girls

Photograph via iStock.

Young Ladies of Tomorrow

$100 buys: Two weeks of transportation to afterschool programs for girls who have been or are at risk of being in trouble with the law.

Girls on the Run of Northern Virginia

$500 buys: Financial aid to support three Northern Virginia elementary- and middle-school girls enrolled in a ten-week running program that also teaches life skills and goal-setting.

Friends of Guest House

$1,000 buys: One month of transportation to job interviews and medical appointments for a recently released female prisoner in Northern Virginia.

Health & Wellness

Photograph by iStock.

Breast Care for Washington

$225 buys: A 3-D mammogram for one uninsured patient in the Washington area.

Tracy’s Kids

$500 buys: A year of clay and glazes for sculpture art-therapy classes for 150 kids at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Arlington Pediatric Center

$1,000 buys: One year of well-child care for an uninsured infant in Arlington.


Photograph via iStock.

Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment

$100 buys: Two classroom presentations to teach kids about environmental education and stewardship.

Rock Creek Conservancy

$500 buys: Tools to remove invasive species (usually English ivy, which in vine form can overtake and weaken or kill trees) in Rock Creek Park.

Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy

$1,000 buys: One weeklong environmental-education camp for kids, covering everything from ecology to erosion to animal habitats.

This article appears in our December 2015 issue of Washingtonian.